With much of the hustle and bustle of the holidays all wrapped up, it was time for a walk today. The past few weeks I've been walking our lovely neighborhood, mostly at night so I could see the Christmas lights.
Today I decided to re-visit Phragmites Park. First of all, Google Maps calls it "Phragmites Park" but the broken sign in the parking lot is spelled "Fragmites Park". The parking lot is small and quite rough. It's on the north side of 25A in Centerport. There is a second park to walk on the other side of the road, it's Betty Allen Twin Ponds Nature Park and one of my favorite little places to walk. Somehow I've been jaded and didn't care for the north side (Phragmites). My partner Andy feels differently, he's been here on his own so I thought I'd give it a second chance.
The terrain is easy, super flat with sand or mud. Be prepared, some spots are quite wet. I decided to take the trail along the left side of the park and work my way around clockwise. Phragmites park is pretty small so I've labeled it as Child friendly. The first thing that's a bit disconcerting is hearing the traffic wiz by but it only takes moments before it fades from hearing.
On cloudy days I'll walk at any time but in the winter I like to walk in the late afternoon as the shadows stretch and the last rays of sun kiss the earth. Instead of cropping this photo I left my shade in it, my kind of "selfie".
No more than a few minutes pass before the scenery starts to open up on the left side. This is the topside of Northport harbor, the further you walk the better the scenery gets (my mistake last time when I left after this one glimpse)
Paths lead down to the water's edge, I didn't follow this one as I did not have proper boots with me.
Winter walks will always feature moss, I can't resist taking photographs of the various patterns.
A huge difference with this park is the abundance of White Birch trees. Many of them litter the ground, they are not strong survivors with the recent hurricanes we've experienced. Oh my though, I think I found a new photography subject, the fungi were a delight to see.
I would love to take some children walking here, give them each a camera and see what captures their attention.
Sounds fill the air in this spot, the wind rustles through the grasses, and bird calls surround you.
The Northport smokestacks poke up in the distance, I like how they balance the red roof of one of the houses tucked in along the shoreline.
Finally a path dry enough for me to walk to the water's edge. It's a tiny beach, not larger than our driveway. Just perfect for a picnic for two.
In the center of the park is a clearing filled with Opuntia cactus. They grow naturally here, I can't say I care to grow them in my garden. Then again, I'm a bit prejudiced after having sat on my mother's cactus when I was a child.
This park does not allow dogs but there were plenty of dog prints in the mud. If you do take your dog there I'd keep it on a leash. These Opuntia have sharp thorns and the large population of water fowl would not like to be chased.
Nothing makes me happier than a tunnel of trees to slip through. I'm looking forward to doing this again once everything leafs out this spring.
The last photo was taken right before I returned to the parking lot. Lots of traffic noise again but you'd never know it from the picture. It was such a beautiful place.
If you want to visit Betty Allen Twin Ponds park at the same time leave your car in this lot. There's no place to park at the entrance across the street.
Have fun exploring!